Everything is within reach in a world where flights take you to remote destinations, anything can be ordered to your doorstep, and you can instantly communicate with someone across the world. This also means that travellers are searching for unique experiences that bring them closer to nature, and themselves.
Natural Beauty and Eco-Tourism
Eco-tourism is the conscious practice of travelling responsibly. The International Ecotourism Society, TIES, defines ecotourism as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." It’s a relatively new concept, since it only came about during the environmental movements of the 1970’s. It gained a lot of traction in the 1990’s when it started to emerge as the fastest-growing tourism sector in the world.
It hasn’t slowed down since. Its broad appeal to responsible travellers means that they can take advantage of untouched wilderness, clear blue water, local cultures and friendly communities.
Ecotourists want to immerse themselves in the natural areas they visit, while having a minimal impact or disturbance on the environment as they appreciate the sights, sounds, and beauty.
A New Kind of Travel
As travellers look to expand their horizons, pursue new adventures, and see pristine locations, the destinations become ever more exotic and fragile. It is these untouched environments that are the most susceptible to the harsh impacts of thoughtless travel and actions.
Eco-tourists look to prevent, or minimize their impact through carefully selected hotels that understand the environmental consequences of travel.
They look for hotels that work to give their guests special experiences and memories that wouldn’t happen anywhere else.
Benefits of Sustainable Tourism
Environmental precarity is a real threat, and makes beloved natural sights like the Great Barrier Reef even more precious. Travellers see enormous value in being engaged with sustainable tourism because it makes their travel experiences seem like a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. They simultaneously get off the beaten track while making memories that nobody else has. Only you can give these benefits to your guests.
How can you incorporate eco-tourism?
Make your experiences environmentally friendly
Guests are becoming more aware of the little details that separate a good experience from a great one. Ensure those details, like green toilet paper, efficient light bulbs, or LEED design, are noticed by your guests.
Do you undertake other initiatives, like recycling, resource conservation, or social responsibility? Tell your guests! They’ll know they’ve made the right choice, and you’ll go a long way towards helping the environment.
Promote Local Wildlife and Nature
Just like the little details separate your guests experiences what they’ll get elsewhere, so does the location and native animals. They can’t trek through jungles to preserved Mayan ruins, stargaze the Milky Way, or snorkel pristine turquoise waters just anywhere. Highlight the natural beauty of these experiences and entice your guests by showing them just how unique and valuable these memories are.
Engage with the Local Culture
Build awareness by bringing people together to connect through the local culture. Eco-tourism helps provide meaningful, alternative development opportunities for communities, while simultaneously increasing education amongst travellers who would not otherwise have these experiences.
Guests will enjoy the chance to make a difference to the local community in a sustainable way, and the community benefits from the preservation of the region's heritage.
Traditional crafts are revitalized, and ceremonies and art forms, like time-honoured dances and music, are sustained.
The New Normal
The eco-tourism trend is now a mainstay for travellers who are keen to make more environmentally conscious decisions and have an untouched, authentic experience. As tourists become more aware (and discerning), they place even more value on the principles and practices of sustainable travel in unique settings that share the same commitments they do.
Demonstrate that you are aligned with these values and your guests will rave about their experiences with you.